Workplace bullying is a situation where an employee is repeatedly and over a prolonged time period is exposed to harassing behavior from one or more colleagues (including subordinates and leaders) and where the targeted person is unable to defend him-/herself against this systematic mistreatment. It is also a form of persistent abuse where the exposed employee is submissive to the perpetrator. Furthermore, it is a feeling of being trapped in the situation and going defenseless.
From an article that I studied about Industrial Companies, it says bullying occurs in a particular setting depending on the number of factors (some work-related, some more general or personal) such as gender, climate, rate of poverty, and the characteristics of the particular occupation. It also said that bullying is common in large, male-dominated industrial companies. It is more prevalent among the unskilled workers than among supervisors/managers.
One of the main explanations for why bullying occurs emphasizes characteristics associated with the workplace environment, including job design. Specifically, I can say that bullying is related to work factors, and other stressors such as job insecurity, workload, role conflict/ambiguity, and cognitive demands of the job. Another major reason for bullying stresses personality factors. Most of them has focused not on the bullies but on the targets of bullying and their personality characteristics. The ones who experience more negative affects more frequently are at the increased risk of being bullied. That is, some of the employees who become targets of bullying are ones who regularly experience negative emotional states such as anxiety, anger, sadness and insecurity.
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Bullying has been linked to numerous physical and psychological symptoms, including headaches, chronic neck pains, sleep problems, depression, stress symptoms and so on. Also the ones bullied are more likely to have reduced commitment to work, feel dissatisfied with their job, have high rate of absenteeism, and become recipients of disability pension. Bullying isn\'t seen only within the company, it also occurs between companies that are in intense competition. Even respected companies such as eBay have been accused of monopolistic bullying. This alleged misconduct can have not only monetary and legal implications but can also threaten reputation, investor confidence, and customer loyalty.
As per the current news, twenty-seven states have introduced the Healthy Workplace Bill to consider ways to combat bullying. Workplace bullying is illegal in many other countries too. On a whole, bullying can have a significant and negative impact on an organization, its employees and work culture. I feel that clear policies, training, good communication, meaningful monitoring and reporting with an effective and trusted speak-up process will all be important tools that businesses should be using to establish best practice in what is likely to become an increasingly important part of culture management. There are a few frameworks being created which can be used as a checklist or a measurement tool to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the organization\'s anti-bullying activities.
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